With the tournament ending soon, fans will undoubtedly enjoy the remaining Elite Eight, Final Four, and Championship games. March Madness 2021 has been exciting: one double-digit seed remains, and three one seeds are still alive. Although it seems like chalk would’ve worked this year because of the one seeds, the rest of the tournament has been epic, as brackets were busted already from day one. With the championship game in sight, here are some of the remaining marquee matchups:
Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. USC Trojans
This Elite Eight matchup features top NBA prospects. For Gonzaga, it’s Jalen Suggs, Corey Kispert, and Joel Ayayi. For USC, it’s just Evan Mobley. Both Suggs and Mobley are considered top draft picks, so this one will be fun to watch. Both teams are coming off significant victories in the Sweet Sixteen. Gonzaga has been a force to reckon with all season, but recently USC has taken down Kansas and Oregon by large margins. This game will certainly be challenging for Gonzaga and their perfect record.
Michigan Wolverines vs. UCLA Bruins
The other remaining Elite Eight matchup is between UCLA and Michigan. UCLA entered the tournament earning one of the last four in bids. From that point, the Bruins have been on fire, with their most victory coming in overtime against Alabama. UCLA held the solid three-point shooting team to twenty-five percent from three. Johnny Juzang will need to continue to bring his game for UCLA.
Michigan has shown why they deserved a number one seed. Even with injuries and other challenges faced, the Wolverines are playing top-notch basketball. In their Sweet Sixteen game against Florida State, the Wolverines were able to spread their offense efficiently. Michigan has faced more difficult teams than UCLA, so another Final Four run is not out of reach.
Baylor Bears vs. Houston Cougars
The first decided Final Four matchup is between Baylor and Houston. Baylor will play in its first Final Four game since 1950. With tremendous help from their experienced backcourt, Baylor has shown why they deserved a top seed this year. After a COVID delay in their season, the Bears have bounced back to their early-season self. Despite their late-season struggles, Baylor has bounced back, cruising to the Final Four, with further goals within reach.
Houston has had a more difficult path to the Final Four despite playing only double-digit seeds. As a defensively strong team that also shoots quite well from three, Houston is a tough team to face. In the Sweet Sixteen, the Cougars held a terrific shooting Syracuse to forty-six points. In their second and fourth matchups in the tournament, the opposing teams gave Houston difficulty. In their game against Rutgers, it was a late push that helped them win. But in their Elite Eight matchup against Oregon State, they almost blew a seventeen-point halftime lead. However, down the board, Houston grabbed way more rebounds, with nineteen.
This matchup will feature Baylor’s scoring and Houston’s defense, rebounding, and shooting. This game will be challenging for both teams and, hopefully, prepare the winner for the Championship game.